Adel Taarabt a premier league flop?

Adel Taarabt is a 32-year-old Moroccan who had a bright career ahead of him in England however it was not to be as his off-pitch antics left a bad taste in the mouths of many undermining his impact on the pitch. Let’s look back at his time in England and where things went off the rails.

Tottenham Hotspur

At 17 years old Taarabt showed great potential at then club Lens. He did enough to catch Damien Comolli’s eye who was the then director of football at Tottenham. He joined Spurs on a loan deal under Martin Jol. Taarabt went on to join Spurs permanently later that year. He made his debut against West Ham at the 87th minute with Spurs losing, Spurs ended up winning that game and Taarabts’ performance was part of that comeback which led many Spurs fans to think they got a future star. He was a disappointment making only 8 appearances for the club with 0 goals scored. He was building up a bad reputation for his lacklustre attitude that once saw him being banned from the training grounds. He would, later on, be loaned out to Queens Park Rangers where we got to see a glimpse of his potential.

Queens Park Rangers

Taarabt was loaned out to QPR for the 08/09 season with the hope that he can help them to promotion and establish himself as a serious option for Spurs in the future. During his loan he showed he had the skills to take on players and a vision worthy of the worlds best, however, his bad-boy attitude got the best of him. He joined online casino australia QPR for 1 million pounds. Stories such as him leaving a game during halftime after being subbed off to go to a local pub started to be common. He played 157 games for QPR and scored 34 times for them. It’s important to note that goal scoring was not what he was known for but rather he was known for his creative play, he could dribble past a locked defensive or provide that pinpoint through ball.

Fulham

He joined Fulham on a season-long loan making only 12 appearances for them before returning to QPR. Upon return to QPR then manager Harry Redknapp called him out for his work ethic stating that he was at least 3 stone overweight.  

Adel Taarabt now applies his trade in Portugal for Benfica joining them for 4 million Euros. So far he has made 59 appearances for them scoring 1 goal. He is not a first-time player but should be grateful that he still plays for a big team such as Benfica even after being blacklisted by most of the footballing world.

Taarabt is another story of footballers with great potential destroying their careers by their actions. The football world has always had its fair share of bad boys but if you can’t back that attitude up on the field then you will always go down as a what-if case.

African Chances at the World Cup

World Cup

Pele one famously said that he believed an African nation would win the World Cup by the year 2000. That has never really come close to being a reality, and 18 years later we still await the first real African contender. Will 2018 be the year this finally comes through for Pele, or will we see the African nations fail to materialise once again. With a strong duo from South America and 3-4 European nations having their best teams in years it may prove difficult but let us have a look at each team and their hopes…

Egypt

Two words define the chances of Egypt…Mo Salah. If he is fit and playing well, they may stand a chance of getting out of the group. If not….they won’t. It is a rare thing for them to qualify for a World Cup and to be fair they have been handed a group that is passable. Uruguay will be the favourites of course, but if Egypt can counter the home advantage of Russia they may well make it through. The last 16 meeting with Portugal or Spain should see their end…

Morocco

Speaking of Portugal and Spain, Morocco find themselves in the group with the two European giants.  It would take a miracle for them to progress out of this group, but if they do a tame Last 16 may await with Uruguay. Iran are the third team they will face at the group stage and with both teams knowing a 3 point win is what matters in that meeting, it is too lose to call. An exit at the group stage beckons.

Nigeria

Not the force they once were, and looking very week in the build up, Nigeria may also struggle to get past the group stage. Argentina should coast a relatively easy Group D and Croatia have been looking solid enough to clinch second. If Nigeria want to contend they will have to overcome an unpredictable Iceland. Lacking the stars they once had, this will be a tough ask to get out of the group.

Tunisia

Faced with England and Belgium in the group, I don’t imagine Tunisia will be seeing the latter stages. Never looked impressive in qualification and nor have they improved since. A bottom of the group clash with Panama is their only hope of scoring any points.

Senegal

If I was a betting man and had to pick one African team with the best chance of making it out of the groups, my money would be on Senegal. Poland and Japan are not the most intimidating of opponents, and even group favourites Colombia are not the team they were 4 years ago. Senegal have some really player for player quality and a good team ethos.  I don’t see them making it past the Last 16 where England of Belgium will await however.

All in all, 2018 does not mark a high point for the African nations. Anyone of them will be overjoyed to make it past the group and I think it will be nothing sort of a shock if any of them are still around come the Quarter Finals.